Tuesday, July 08, 2003

As for the strikes on Saddam and the bitter likelihood that he's still alive, perhaps we can draw this conclusion from the evidence of our eyes and critical capacities: America really isn't good at assassinations.

We were lousy at them in the 1950s and 1960s, especially when we went after Fidel Castro. In the past five years, using major weaponry rather than exploding cigars, we've proved incompetent in targeting Osama bin Laden and Saddam.

The United States can fight wars brilliantly. But our skills at the black arts of statecraft remain challenged - a tribute to this nation's humanity.

For one thing, we fear the harm that might be done to innocents who are unfortunate enough to share consanguinity with the evildoers. Bill Clinton couldn't get a "clean shot" at bin Laden after the failed cruise-missile attack in August 1998 because our intelligence could never locate him without women and children around. And Bush nearly didn't order the strike on Saddam because he didn't want the first pictures of the war to feature the tyrant's dead grandchildren.

Its a really good piece. Read the whole thing here.

Oh - and as for "consanguinity"...look it up. I had to.

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